Woman Strolling (Une élégante)

Object Details


Woman Strolling (Une élégante)


Georges Seurat (French, 1859 - 1891)




about 1884


Conté crayon, fixed on laid paper

Object Number:



31.8 × 24 cm (12 1/2 × 9 7/16 in.)

Credit Line:

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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The graceful woman in this drawing appears in the midst of a leisurely stroll, with her shadow falling beside her and one hand gently clutching the handle of her umbrella. The veil of her brimmed hat conceals her face, but her slender figure and erect posture convey that she is a refined young woman--an impression sustained by the fashionable fur-trimmed coat that envelops her.

Georges Seurat drew this elegant profile as a series of geometric volumes animated by the play of light and shade. Rather than drawing individual lines, he rubbed roughly textured paper with greasy Conté crayon, creating a large shadowy mass. By combining various densities of crayon--darker for the figure, light and feathery for the background--Seurat explored a concept he called "irradiation." According to his theory, light and dark tones mutually enhance each other as they come together. The glowing halo surrounding the poised figure exemplifies this theory.


Anton Meier, Switzerland, by descent

Chefs d'oeuvres de collections francaises (September to October 1962)
  • Galerie Charpentier, Paris, September to October 1962
To Create a Living Art: 19th Century Drawings (May 1 to July 15, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 15, 2001
Seurat and the Making of "La Grande Jatte" (June 16 to September 19, 2004) (catalogue by Robert Herbert)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, June 16 to September 19, 2004
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007
The Poetry of Paper (July 23 to October 20, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 20, 2013
Noir: The Romance of Black in 19th Century French Drawings and Prints (February 9 to May 15, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 9 to May 15, 2016